Chicago

By JOEL SCHATZ

Put away the 3-D glasses. You don’t need them anymore to see anti-Semitism.
Three years ago, Natan Sharansky, then Israel’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs, offered a “3D” test to distinguish legitimate criticism of Israel from inherently anti-Semitic attacks. If Israel is demonized as the embodiment of evil (as when it is compared to Nazi Germany), held to a double standard (as when it is singled out for human-rights abuses while others are ignored), or if its very right to exist is delegitimized, the critique mirrors the centuries-old traits of classic anti-Semitism, presented in contemporary guise, Sharansky concluded.

Viewed through this 3D lens, the blurry line between legitimate criticism and this “new anti-Semitism” becomes perfectly clear. Today, however, Sharansky concedes that the line is clear even without glasses, and a movement on the scale of the one that freed him and millions of Soviet Jews is needed in response. When leaders of Iran declare that Israel should be erased from the map, and deny the Holocaust “even as they prepare the next one,” there is no lack of clarity, he said in a Feb. 11 appearance at Moriah Congregation in Deerfield.

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