When Israelis criticize the policy proposals of their own government, to what extent does it threaten to encourage antisemitic incidents in the United States? That’s the question posed to experts in the Jewish community and campus spheres in the Boston area.
Over the past 10 weeks, protesters in Israel have demonstrated against the Benjamin Netanyahu government for such reasons as its calls for change in the country’s judiciary. These protests have continued in Israel, with additional demonstrations taking place in Boston. Meanwhile, other protests in the area have demonstrated against Israel for additional reasons, including the charge that it is an apartheid state that pursues deadly policies against Palestinians in the West Bank. These latter demonstrations include a Feb. 8 gathering at Brandeis University—a college associated with Judaism and named after former Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis, an American supporter of Zionism.
Brandeis professor Jonathan Sarna, who directs the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and teaches American Jewish history, draws a clear distinction between protests against Israeli government policies and protests calling Israel an apartheid regime.