Via email, a reader pointed me toward a paper by the Arab Women’s Solidarity Association that represents a different view of what we’ve been discussing recently, The Forgotten “–ism:” An Arab American Women’s Perspective on Zionism, Racism and Sexism [pdf], discussing Arab-American women’s experiences with political and racist stereotyping and their reflections on the effects of the Zionist movement. A preview:
In my university, there are blinders that equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. People assume that because I’m Palestinian, I am anti-Semitic and racist. Why not accuse me of anti-Zionism? The failure to distinguish a political stance from a racist stance makes it very easy to say someone is a racist or an anti-Semite if they talk about justice for Palestinians. If I’m going to try and get a job and I am criticizing the Israeli state and Zionism, the hiring committee thinks, ‘We’re not going to hire someone who’s racist.’ This is part of the Zionist discourse that presents Arabs and Palestinians as always anti-Semitic. How can we, as Semites, be anti-Semitic?
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