The Palestine Liberation Organization-Research Center has issued a new book, entitled: “Zionism, Israel and Antisemitism: Exploiting the Suffering of the Jews to Persecute the Palestinians,” by the researcher and journalist specializing in Israeli affairs, Khaldoun Barghouti.
In the book, Barghouti discusses the motives and stages of developing the definition of antisemitism from “racism against Jews on an ethnic and religious basis” to new definitions, mainly targeting those who adopt anti-Zionist positions as a colonial-settler idea, and those who criticize Israel as a country that practices military occupation and apartheid against the Palestinians. They are accusing them of being racist against Jews, “that is, antisemites,” with the aim of suppressing and silencing these voices.
The book focuses on the IHRA’s Working Definition of Antisemitism, which was adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA in 2016, after it was issued in 2005 by a European organization that cooperated with Israeli and Western academics and Zionist organizations, with the aim of suppressing critics of Israel’s policies against the Palestinians during the Al-Aqsa Intifada, which began in 2000.
The book also reviews the most prominent areas in which this definition is used by Zionist organizations defending Israel, especially in the United States and Europe, and some forms of using this definition, with a review of the most prominent countries that adopted it through membership in the IHRA organization .
Its importance lies in its being the first Palestinian and Arab in dealing with the process of developing the definition of antisemitism in order to divert it from its original and historical context, and exploit it for political purposes, causing injustice to the Palestinian victims of Israel on the one hand, and to the Jewish victims of antisemitism in its classical concept on the other hand, by conflating their suffering with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and its exploitation to suppress critics of the occupation.
The cover betrays the mission of the book: not to analyze the IHRA Working Definition but to oppose it, and the arguments within are not sober analysis but a polemic masquerading as an objective look at antisemitism.