top of page

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

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.


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 The Jerusalem Post:

“I don’t think the response to antisemitism should ever be the hiding of the Jewish community or the advice to Jews that they hide who they are,” Carr said. “If that’s what Jews have to do in the face of antisemitism, then we’ve lost the fight. And so, I think Jews have every right to express themselves Jewishly, and that means do it in a public way.”

Elan Carr also speaks of the need to develop an attitude among people that is pro-semitism, not merely philo-semitism, but the LOVE of Jews and Judaism, not just defense of Jews and not just combating Jew-hatred. We need go further.

An article by Yonah Levi in on Aug 11, 2019, elaborates somewhat tongue-in-cheek on being pro-semitic, because there is much to be proud of as Jews. Below is an excerpt:

“Let’s begin with the obvious: there is absolutely nothing funny about antisemitism and it should never be the topic of a humor article. That is an absolute rule with no exceptions and is completely non-negotiable. That said, if it is true that antisemitism is verboten in humor, then is the opposite also true? Is “pro-semitism” permitted, even encouraged?

So what exactly is pro-semitism? You will not find it defined in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary but you will find a definition of anti-Semitism: “hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group.” Thus, the inverse would be a fair definition of pro-semitism, that is, friendliness toward or support for Jews as a religious, ethnic or racial group. In the interest of completeness, it must be noted that on Wikipedia you will find the term “philo-semitism” which is described as an interest in, respect for and an appreciation of Jewish people, their history and the influence of Judaism. Philo-semitism, however, is not a widely-used term. To the average Jew, especially boureka-loving and baklava-loving Jews, the mention of the word “philo” probably sounds like a salute to phyllo (or filo) dough. Thus, philo-semitism sounds more like a form of Jewish baking and is not a term that would resonate. In fact, it might leave some Jews, especially Jewish pastry chefs, confused, or even hungry.”

Taking Action

CAEF Web Talks are getting noticed and contributing to important discussions and action in fighting antisemitism, and supporting proZionism.

CAEF has joined the campaign to cut off Louis Farrakhan’s ongoing antisemitic hate campaign on YouTube. Labelled Antisemite of the Week by in June 2019, Farrakhan is the notorious leader of the Nation of Islam who spews Jew hatred with every breath and is endorsed by antisemitic congresswomen Ilan Omar and Rashid Tlaib, supported by many African Americans and even by Neo-Nazis, and ignored by left wing media and political leaders while he infects his followers with the virus of antisemitism. His Twitter and Facebook accounts have been frozen, now help us get him blocked by YouTube.

Below is a copy of the report that CAEF filed with YouTube in reporting that Farrakhan breaches community ethics and we ask everyone reading this to do the same and below we provide a step by step method for you to follow. Do this now.

  1. Go to The Nation of Islam’s YouTube channel here.

  2. Click “About”.

  3. Under the Stats section you will see a small grey flag - click on that and select “Report user”.

  4. Select “Hate speech against a protected group” and click NEXT.

  5. Click NEXT again as the selection of videos is optional.

  6. Write up to 300 characters explaining that the channel is disseminating antisemitism and promoting hatred of Jews, and click SUBMIT.


bottom of page