A picture taken on March 12, 2019 shows anti-Semitic and racist graffiti on the wall of the city hall in Heiligenberg, eastern France. ( PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP/Getty Images)

US Could Review Relations with Countries Deemed Anti-Israel

The US government may review its ties with countries deemed hostile to Israel, after an apparent policy shift to equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. The State Department’s special envoy for combating Jew-hatred, Elan Carr, said in an interview that the new position could prompt evaluations of Washington’s relations with foreign governments and leaders. He added that the US was “deep[ly] concerned” that unwarranted criticism of Israel had become an acceptable expression of anti-Semitism, which has seemingly been mainstreamed even in western nations. While Carr declined to cite specific examples of state-sanctioned anti-Semitism, he suggested that US President Donald Trump was willing to use “diplomatic tools” to pressure governments to be more tolerant toward the Jewish people and its state. The internationally recognized working definition of anti-Semitism includes “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor,” and “applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” Nevertheless, a debate has raged in the past few years over the fine line between legitimate criticism of Israeli policies, especially vis-à-vis the Palestinians, and singling out Israel for opprobrium due to its fundamental characteristic as the Jewish homeland.

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