Brendan O’Neill Brendan O’Neill

The chilling link between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism

Credit: Getty images

Isn’t it remarkable how similar anti-Zionism is to anti-Semitism? The latest proof of an intimate link between these two ideologies comes from Philadelphia. There, last night, a baying mob gathered outside a Jewish-owned restaurant to accuse the owners of being complicit in ‘genocide’. Guys, the 1930s called, they want their bigotry back.

Last night’s protest was a genuinely vile affair. Actually, ‘protest’ is far too grand a name for this kind of gathering. It was more like a mini-pogrom, the noisy harassment of a restaurant for its sin of being founded by a Jew. The restaurant is called Goldie. It is owned by Mike Solomonov, an Israeli-born, Pittsburgh-raised, award-winning chef. ‘Goldie, Goldie, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide’, the mob screamed.

Everything is fascism except fascism. It is doublespeak on steroids

It was a ‘blatant act of anti-Semitism’, said Josh Shapiro, the Democrat governor of Pennsylvania. Goldie was ‘targeted and mobbed because its owner is Jewish and Israeli’, he said, and that isn’t politics – it’s ‘hate and bigotry’ reminiscent of a ‘dark time in history’.

Absolutely. The Philly incident directly echoes horrors of the past. Jewish-owned restaurants were frequently targeted in the anti-Semitic hysteria unleashed by the Nazis in the 1930s. False rumours were spread about the ‘dirty kitchens’ of Jewish-owned restaurants. Jewish-owned businesses, including eateries, were smashed to smithereens during the calamity of Kristallnacht.

One should never rush to compare events in the present to events in the 1930s. But really, it is almost impossible to speak about what happened in Philadelphia without at least thinking about Nazi Europe. To target a restaurant solely because its owner is of Jewish and Israeli heritage is unconscionable. It is racist. It is ‘deeply anti-Semitic’, as the left-wing Philly politician Ben Waxman said.

What is most bizarre is that the Goldie-demonising mob was no doubt made up of the kind of leftish people who have spent recent years fretting that Trump is the new Hitler.

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